Reframing the Colonial Past

2022thu28apr12:00 pmReframing the Colonial PastPart of the Distinguished Visiting Speakers in the art of the Spanish Americas series.

Event Details

Join Dr. Luisa Elena Alcalá and Dr. Matthew Restall in conversation with Dr. Susan Deans-Smith and Dr. Rosario I Granados about how contemporary debates on racism, decolonization, and cultural patrimony and restitution are shaping new research and museum displays of the art of the Spanish Americas.  

Funding provided by The College of Liberal Arts, College of Fine Arts, and the School of Architecture.

A headshot of a woman wearing glasses and long earrings.

Luisa Elena Alcalá is Associate Professor in the Department of the History and Theory of Art of the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. Her research focuses on Latin American colonial art, especially the relationship between visual culture and religious practices, taste, and patronage, with an emphasis on the Jesuits as major players in the circulation of art in the Early Modern period. 

A man smiling with his arms crossed.

Matthew Restall is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History, Anthropology, and Women’s Studies, and Director of Latin American Studies at Penn State University. He has published over twenty books and eighty essays and articles on colonial Mexico, with an emphasis on the Maya region. His latest book on conquest history, When Montezuma Met Cortés, was published by Ecco/HarperCollins in 2018. 

A headshot of a woman smiling, behind her is a painting from colonial Spanish America..

Rosario I.  Granados is the Marilynn Thoma Associate Curator, Art of the Spanish Americas at the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a historian of religious material culture and interested in collecting practices. Her exhibition Painted Cloth: Ritual and Fashion in Colonial Latin America will open at the Blanton in August 2022. 

A woman with short white hair smiles while crossing her arms.

Susan Deans-Smith is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research and teaching interests focuses on the history of colonial Latin America, including the histories of artisans, artists, art markets, and collecting. Her most recent book Museum Matters: Making and Unmaking Mexico’s National Collections (University of Arizona Press, 2021), was co-edited with Miruna Achim and Sandra Rozental. 

Feature Image Credit: Unknown Artist, Santiago Mataincas, Cuzco, Peru, circa 1780, oil on canvas, Collection of Carl & Marilynn Thoma.


April 28, 2022 12:00 pm(GMT-06:00)

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2 thoughts on “Reframing the Colonial Past”

  1. B. Gloria Guzman Johannessen

    Conquerors were not and are not kind to the conquered. History and the flames of ‘racism’ in this country intend to erase what cannot be erased. Art should stand by itself as it comes from the imagination and thoughtful work that emanates from the heart and soul of the artist. Hopefully, it will not begin to be solely focused on and judged based on the current wave started by those who are uninformed about the history of tragic generations engaged in enslaving others, which is unfortunately still practiced in countries in Asia and Africa. Art needs to be free from pre-determined social and political critique based on whichever is the new wave. I envision your discussions will bring enlightening views on these subjects.

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